10 ways to grow your small business with social media marketing
Growing your business with social media marketing can be extremely effective and lucrative, however, it can be difficult if you don’t have the knowledge to do it the right way.
Despite the seemingly overwhelming nature of these online platforms, you can leverage some key features to grow your small business. With a consumer-focused strategy, a compelling story and regular tracking of your efforts, you can reach the right audiences and boost revenue.
Below are 10 ways to grow your small business with social media marketing.
Build a social media marketing strategy
A social media marketing strategy is the blueprint that dictates the flow of your digital marketing on social media platforms. Having a plan makes it easy to plot ahead and navigate hurdles. Most importantly, a social media marketing strategy makes it easy to measure outcomes against the goals of your digital marketing campaigns. Whether you are looking to increase sales or boost brand awareness, your social media plan helps you stay on track; it also makes it easy to determine which metrics to measure. Like all business endeavors, every strategy should have a plan that is specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound – SMART.
Choose the right platforms
A key component of social media marketing for small businesses is choosing the right platforms you intend to focus on. Depending on your audience and the products you sell, one of these social platforms might be more than another. Small businesses serving corporate clients might find LinkedIn a better platform for generating quality leads, especially when it’s a B2B model. And while more adults between the ages of 40-65+ are finding themselves on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest offer fertile grounds for B2C models like, real estate, fashion, retail, or attorneys. Hashtags also make it easy to engage young consumers and potential clients by subject. Add a few to your next post and test different hashtags often as the market changes. Also, if you get stuck, here’s a great hashtag guide by Hootsuite.
Build an engaging audience
One of the cardinal sins of social media marketing for small businesses is creating a boring profile. Digital marketing, unlike traditional marketing, encourages dialogue between businesses and their fans. Creating content that provokes conversation is almost as important as providing the service itself. You want fans to like, share, and comment on your posts. And so, before you put out a post, think about what you expect the readers to do. Do you want them scrolling down or do you want them to swipe left?
You can interact with your clients and fans by creating dedicated groups on Facebook, for example. More importantly, always be on hand to address any concern your clients have, and remember, people want fast answers now. If it takes you 24 hours to respond to a potential customer, your competition might be doing it in 2 hours. When done right, social media marketing can be a tremendous tool in maintaining excellent customer service.
Monitor conversations about your brand
One way you can build a cult following is seeking out and responding to conversations about your product on social media. A simple search on platforms like Twitter and Facebook can tell you what users are saying about your products. Doing so makes it possible to address client issues before they escalate. Also, this strategy allows you to promote positive reviews and build brand awareness by commenting and thanking customers for their business.
Audit your social media accounts
It is important to conduct regular audits of your social media accounts. An audit tells you which social platform helps you generate the most leads. It also lets you catch imposters stealing engagement or tarnishing your brand image. Some of these imposters could be parody accounts, while others could be engaging in illegal activity, deceiving clients using a variant of your brand name. Regular audits can also help you clean up old photos and posts that might not align with your branding goals anymore.
Share media to your accounts
No social media marketing is complete without compelling images and videos. Visuals boost engagement, but more importantly, they increase conversions. Consumer-facing outlets like fashion brands can rely on beautifully-shot pictures of their products to attract users. For others selling less tangible products, infographics and videos are important in increasing engagement. Social platforms like Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest will reward you for pictures that are engaging by showing your content to more people – it’s a win, win all around.
Tell compelling stories
It doesn’t matter if you are doing social media marketing in Orlando or in Gold Coast, a compelling story can elicit emotional responses. With the coronavirus pandemic still raging on, sharing personal stories position you as an empathetic brand, or story brand if you will. Big brands like Nike are utilizing personal stories to appeal to dedicated audiences across the world. Instead of posting a video reel of your latest sneaker collections, why not tell the story about how medical professionals stay on their feet for hours trying to save lives? Stories make your brand more human because they appeal to clients on a personal level – not to mention, human beings just love good stories, whether it’s about their passion or not.
Deploy effective tools
Social media marketing is only effective if you can take advantage of the right tools to help you manage it. Having a tool like Hootsuite, for example, makes it possible to schedule and post content simultaneously across all your platforms; this makes it easy to remain consistent and organized. There are other tools such as, Hubspot and Buzzsumo, that allow you to better understand your social media analytics and trends; this helps understand what’s working and what types of content to post next. Meanwhile, an online tool like Canva is perfect for creating graphics that attract engagement and new faces. With the number of tools available today, it can be overwhelming to comb through each one to find the best fit. So, we’ve added a free resource to help you find the best social media tools here.
Research the competition
Social media platforms can help you get real time information about the competition. You can easily check out which of their content is doing well and tweak your own social media marketing strategy to take advantage of the information. A key part of your social media marketing strategy is to understand which businesses are offering similar products and services in your area. You can then monitor what they’re saying about their offerings and either model your own content after it or develop content that directly sells against it. You can then focus on beating said competition instead of worrying about saturation in your market.
Track your performance
Analytics tell you which posts are performing, and which are not. Measuring the right metrics based on the goal of your social media marketing strategy can help you fine-tune your efforts. You can easily tell how many people engaged with your hashtags, for example. Tracking which type of content resonates more with your audience is also important, and the results can feed into your future strategy. With the right tools, you should be able to know if your social strategy is working or needs to be tweaked.
Social media marketing for small businesses has become even more important because of shelter-in directives across the globe. With fewer people visiting brick-and-mortar shops, a customer-centric social media marketing strategy can make it easy to reach these clients. By posting engaging content across your accounts and tracking results, you can improve your conversions, boost brand awareness, and increase revenue.